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robrow
Thu, Sep 22, 2016, 3:09am (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S2: A Night in Sickbay

I'm starting to watch Enterprise through gritted teeth. I accept I have realist prejudices, but that doesn't stop me loving Doctor Who and the best of TOS, TNG and DS9. Above all what I respect is consistency in the way character is presented. To adapt Greg House, 'people don't usually change'. And in one sense Archer hasn't changed since the first episode. He has always been a dickhead. But I cannot believe somebody so arrogant, childish and palpably lacking in diplomatic nous was chosen to lead this mission. I could only accept Archer as captain if this were Red Dwarf. Yes, I can point to occasional bits of dialog or characterisation I liked in this episode - mostly from Phlox - but it seems beside the point. I'll carry on watching, because it's a personal challenge to finish all of TV Trek and there are still occasionally episodes I really enjoy - Minefield recently was exactly my kind of story, and Archer's final 'I'm captain so I get to count time' seemed a lovely bit of characterisation - but Enterprise is beginning to make me nostalgic for Voyager. Never thought I'd say that.
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Robrow
Wed, Sep 21, 2016, 9:48pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S2: Dead Stop

Part of me just admires the cheek of this episode: how can we stop Enterprise getting the same bad rep as Voyager for constant use of the reset button? I know, lets introduce a whopping big Deus ex machina which fixes all the Enterprise's problems, and Malcolm's leg to boot. All this while we get kudos for keeping the continuity: how's that for cunning? Trebles all around. Sigh. It was all right, but I'd rather have seen them honor the continuity by at least beginning the long haul back to Jupiter station. Plenty of room for scrapes along the way. Who knows, even a more subtle form of plot device?
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Robrow
Thu, Jun 9, 2016, 3:06am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: The Void

Actually having read some comments about how the alien 'holdrats' were probably transplanted from another system, that's my major gripe answered. Apart from that, the story engaged me, and offered a reasonable argument against the Hobbesian 'war of all against all' idea. I think many societies facing crisis in the past have benefited from a little temporary communism - even the USA. In the longer term, I admit I'm sceptical, but what's that to Voyager? I have to say that season 7 has produced a majority of winning episodes so far. Seems like a return to the glory days of season 5. God: hope I haven't just jinxed myself.
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Robrow
Wed, Jun 8, 2016, 11:33pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Repentance

I liked it, and I didn't think the episode came to any conclusions about the death penalty. It just presented various viewpoints and left me thinking. The argument that some killers act out of a physical compulsion they can't control is a very good one. It's what makes drug addiction so powerful a cause of criminal behaviour. I did some stupid stuff as an 11-14 year old because of a medical problem: a doctor diagnosed it, and as soon as I went on the medication the compulsion ended. Sometimes change is that quick. But of course I can still understand the family's point of view: they've lost a loved one, who's never coming back regardless of what happens to the criminal. And all that money spent on life imprisonment (20-30-40 years of it) could go on schools and hospitals. So I'd call this episode Trek at it's best. Oh yes, did I say Jeff Kober rocked. As usual.
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Robrow
Fri, Jun 3, 2016, 8:25am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Flesh and Blood

The first Voyager story that had me gripped....since season 5. I can nitpick, but I don't want to because I was so impressed by it. Especially the actions have consequences theme - all too rare in the Delta Quadrant - and the connection between Iden's religious beliefs and his descent into megalomania. If that's an implied criticism of DS9's take on Bajoran religion, it's one I have time for. Definitely 4 stars from me.
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Robrow
Thu, Jun 2, 2016, 11:23am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Unimatrix Zero, Part II

On his blog, my friend Andy has often made a comparison between the Borg and the Cybermen in Dr Who. He then usually adds that the Cybermen have become a bit of a joke: neutered of all their original power. Only fit to be cannon fodder for the Daleks, in an embarrassingly one-sided showdown during the David Tennant years. After seeing this, and just how easy it was for Janeway and chums to survive an apparent assimilation, I'm beginning to feel that way about the Borg. As I still have a clear memory of being overwhelmed by TNG stories like 'The Best of Both Worlds' and 'I, Borg' it makes me sad. I have enjoyed some of Voyager's Borg episodes - especially 'Drone' - but it does feel like a case of diminishing returns. Seeing Seven acting like a simpering schoolgirl didn't help.
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Robrow
Thu, May 19, 2016, 10:11pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Equinox, Part I

Shock horror. Excellent story, and decent cliffhanger. Have to watch the next one.
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Robrow
Mon, May 16, 2016, 2:12am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Bliss

I thought the final image of the monster hunter flying back into the mouth of the beast was very neat and tied in with the Doc's references to Moby-Dick. He wasn't immune to the psychic effects after all. It was like an addiction. I think the suggestion was that all his apparent efforts to kill the damn thing were only leading to self-destruction. Good episode.
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robrow
Thu, May 12, 2016, 10:09pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Timeless

Perhaps because I'm sick of Steven Moffat's bs time travel plots in Doctor Who, I came to this with a jaundiced eye. You can't change the past, it would be really, really bad. So terrible. Until you can for the purposes of the plot. It seems to me a fake kind of shouting - this is DRAMATIC. And I love Janeway's comment at the end: to the effect, don't think about it. Maybe if I'd have watched this 15 years ago I'd have been less irritated. Now I need to watch Drone again.
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robrow
Fri, May 6, 2016, 12:27am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: The Killing Game

I hate to see characters crudely bent to complete a plot. Especially one with such a neat, sententious coda. After the Hirogen leader is killed for heresy, there is no way the others would simply negotiate like that. Maybe after a 5 year war with heavy casualties on both sides, but there's no suggestion this has happened. And the Hirogen-Nazi analogy fairly explicit in that WW2 simulation tends to suggest the reverse: no compromise. Having Janeway flimsily point out this miraculous volte-face only makes it seem more ridiculous. Also there's the way the new Hirogen leader runs away from Janeway with a gun, only to turn round defiantly 1-2 minutes later. Groan. I'm just over half-way through watching the complete series for the first time, and I'm beginning to think a run of more than 2 good episodes in a row is beyond Voyager. A fair review Jammer.
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robrow
Tue, May 3, 2016, 2:40am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S3: Distant Origin

One of those ideas that seems so imaginative and cool I don't care how implausible it is. And the thinly veiled allegory of political and theological hostility to science appealed to me. Lovely episode.
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robrow
Mon, May 2, 2016, 10:45pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S3: Favorite Son

I think that' B5s Patricia Tallman playing one of the women who attacked Harry just before the end. The only time I actually concentrated on this. Couldn't get over the stupidity of Taresian reproduction. Very poor.
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robrow
Mon, May 2, 2016, 1:25am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S3: The Q and the Grey

As a follow-up to Deathwish, that was ghastly. Although the opening scenes and de Lancie's repartee were as good as usual. I can understand how the production team thought it might be a ratings winner, but I almost hoped the civil war story was one almighty scam by Q to get Janeway to sleep with him. No such luck.
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robrow
Fri, Apr 29, 2016, 1:10pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: Death Wish

There's the rub. If you read Julian Barnes History of the World in 10 and 1/2 chapters, the last section tells the story of an everyman who gets sent to heaven, gets everything he ever wanted...and then the pleasure gradually diminishes til it loses any meaning. He ends up wanting to die. I suppose one philosophical criticism of this story is that it ultimately reduces omnipotence to human standards - it's like saying God can tire of his creation and all that heavenly praise (yeh I know Trek never explicitly sets up the Q as being a divine creator, but they share some of it's attributes). I'd grow bored rigid, but that's just my necessarily limited perspective. And it led to an absorbing, very well acted and - at times - funny story. 4 stars from me.
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robrow
Thu, Apr 28, 2016, 3:16am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: Resistance

All the TV work I've seen from Joel Grey has been good. Especially in House MD. And I liked this story. After 9 episodes which were meh at best - sometimes downright embarrassing - Voyager season 2 is finally improving. But it is wearying to see so many reused TNG or DS9 plots. And, for me, it comes off as inferior copy of the first. And a failure to build on strong ideas set up in the latter. Also, after that brief glimmer in season 1, I really miss the Romulans.
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Robrow
Thu, Jun 18, 2015, 9:56am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: What You Leave Behind

Thank you Jammer for some very insightful reviews, that sometimes changed my opinion. Have finally finished a task I started in January. Strangely, I find myself thinking of brilliant individual episodes, and one of the best fictional villains I've ever seen....but.....I think B5 did similar arcs a lot better...and TNG had a much more graceful conclusion. And there was way too much mystico-cobblers (to quote a friend) for my taste. And they ruined Dukat - a truly Shakespearean character - at the end. No, that's ungracious. I shall remember episodes like Duet, the Wire, Rocks and Shoals, In the Pale Moonlight, even It's Only a Paper Moon, as as some of the best drama I've seen in any genre. Some of them probably had more effect on me than anything in TNG. Also I think DS9 generally did comedy much better than both B5 and TNG. I loved Morn, and mostly relished Quark. Now I think I need some British detective drama. Then Voyager awaits.
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Robrow
Wed, Jun 17, 2015, 10:12pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges

I loved this episode - there may have been a few squeals as I was watching it. I find the Romulans fascinating - they're probably my favourite race in Trek - and the plot was suitably complex for the parties involved. How far does it support the Section 31 viewpoint? I'm not sure, and Bashir was certainly eloquent in his attack on it. Plus Cretak was clearly shown to be the victim. In short: it left me thinking, which I take as a sign of good writing.
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Robrow
Thu, Jun 11, 2015, 9:04pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: Covenant

I enjoyed this one because it seemed a logical extension to Dukat's villainy. A personality cult - where else could he go? It showed that, even after a breakdown and possession by a paghwraith, his slimy, narcissitic, womanizing personality remained unchanged. Probably my favorite character in the series.
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Robrow
Thu, Jun 11, 2015, 8:22pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: It's Only a Paper Moon

A beautiful episode. And this is coming from someone who is generally indifferent to Vic - too often DS9's equivalent of Riker's jazz trombone (and oh how I hated that). A moving, highly sophisticated riff on one of my cardinal laws: given a choice between a depressing reality and a happy fantasy, most people, most of the time will choose the fantasy. That Nog needed to be pushed, even when he was ready to leave the holosuite seemed a very shrewd bit of observation.
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Robrow
Wed, Jun 10, 2015, 9:54am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Profit and Lace

I'm not sure this is any worse than 'Let he who is without sin'. But as I have no desire to rewatch either episode, I think it's one mystery I'm going to have to live with.
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Robrow
Thu, Jun 4, 2015, 3:35am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: In the Pale Moonlight

A great episode; what Icarus says, I second. And I do think it was one of Brooks' best performances. He erases the record while saying he can live with it. How conflicted can you get?
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Robrow
Wed, Jun 3, 2015, 10:09pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night

A very good episode, and it helps to establish just why Dukat seems so obsessed with Kira. I now find myself thinking was he seriously attempting to screw the daughter after he's had a relationship with the mother? Or was it just twisted guilt, and never sexual? It's a mystery to me, and that is perhaps as it should be with fascinating characters. Also, I've realised that most of the episodes I really like involve Kira learning a painful lesson. Acute physical disgust with her mother, followed by the realisation that it's not so simple. Great drama.
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Robrow
Wed, May 20, 2015, 11:58pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Far Beyond the Stars

Lovely review. And a very lyrical coda to a wonderful episode. I got shades of Prospero in the Tempest: 'we are such stuff as dreams are made of'. As Jammer says: of course it's not subtle, neither was 50s racism. And it was great to see so many of the actors out of latex. Especially Shimerman and Auberjonois.
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Robrow
Thu, May 14, 2015, 8:45am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Sacrifice of Angels

I'm drained. I've just watched Alaimo enact the end of King Lear when he's crying over his daughter at the end. By far the most dramatic thing in the episode. Made me completely forget the Wormhole alien fluff and contrived sabotage. Great acting and, for me, one of the best scenes I've seen in any Trek. Gul Dukat, one of the best villains I've ever seen.
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Robrow
Wed, May 13, 2015, 9:41pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Rocks and Shoals

This Dominion war arc invites comparison with B5 seasons 3 and 4: so far it hasn't seemed quite as epic and impressive. Plus none of the characters seem quite as fascinating as Londo and G'Kar. But this story was superb. The suicide and Kira's growing self-disgust, parallelled with the ending added up to great drama. It felt like watching a car crash: you can't do anything, but you can't take your eyes away either.
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